March 23, 2010
THREE-TIME DEFENDING BIG TEN CHAMPIONS SEEK THE PROGRAM'S 18th RING
Saturday, March 27 -- at Big Ten Championships (Columbus, Ohio), 2 p.m.
TV: Big Ten Network (live)
Big Ten Championships Homepage
Big Ten Championships Promo
The No. 9-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team (13-3, 4-1 Big Ten) is the conference's top-ranked program heading into the Big Ten Championships, held this Saturday (March 27) at 2 p.m.in Columbus, Ohio. The Wolverines have won each of the last three Big Ten Championships and have 16 titles in the last 18 seasons - more than the rest of the Big Ten combined. Michigan will compete in Columbus for the first time this season and Ohio State is the only Big Ten team the Wolverines have not faced this year. U-M has won the last two Big Ten Championships held in Columbus.
Three other top-25 Big Ten programs will seek the conference title in No. 13 Illinois, No. 17 Penn State and No. 25 Michigan State. Iowa, Minnesota and the host Buckeyes will also compete for the Big Ten crown. The Wolverines defeated the Illini, Spartans, Buckeyes and Gophers this season while finishing behind the Nittany Lions in a quad meet at Penn State. Illinois has finished runner-up the last two seasons, while the Nittany Lions have taken second spot nine times without winning a Big Ten title. Minnesota is the last Big Ten champion other than Michigan, winning the 2006 and 1998 and 1991 titles. No program other than the Wolverines and Gophers have won a Big Ten championship since 1990 -- 19 years of dominance.
Junior Kylee Botterman returns to defend her Big Ten floor exercise title for the second time. Botterman won the Big Ten floor crown in 2008 and 2009. Only two other Wolverines (Beth Wymer and Sarah Cain) have ever won three Big Ten floor titles in their careers. No Wolverine has won it all four.
Six-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week Natalie Beilstein will make her first appearance at the Big Ten Championships, looking to make a splash in Columbus. As Joanne Gerstner found out in this feature story, the bigger the stage, the better the Beilstein. "Something comes over me when I'm out there," Natalie says. "I just want to do whatever it takes to hear that big roar from the crowd at the end." [ Read the full story today ]
THE MICHIGAN WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS RUNDOWN
More Titles Than Any Other Women's Program
The Michigan women's gymnastics program has more Big Ten titles than any other school in any women's sport in the conference.
A Roster Full of Big Ten Rings
Not a single student-athlete on the Wolverine roster has finished anything but first at Big Tens. Each of Michigan's seniors has three Big Ten rings, looking to add a fourth. Seven full classes of Wolverines in U-M history have graduated with four Big Ten Championship rings.
Big Life. Big Stage. Big Time.
Michigan has never suffered a loss when appearing on the Big Ten Network since the channel's creation. U-M is a perfect 20-0 on the network, including wins at the 2008 and 2009 Big Ten Championships. The 2010 Big Ten Championships will be the 10th time the Wolverines appear on the BTN. The Wolverines defeated MSU in a dual meet in January -- the team's only BTN appearance this season.
The End of the Streak
Michigan's loss to Penn State at the PSU Quad (March 7) was U-M's first to a Big Ten school in over three years. The Wolverines had racked up 32 straight conference victories stretching from Feb. 16, 2006, to March 7, 2010.
Junior Trish Wilson is the defending Big Ten bars champion but will sit out the championship meet with injury. Wilson was lost for the season in the team's intrasquad in December but looks to return to the lineup next year.
Bev Plocki a Regular on the Michigan Insider on Sports Talk 1050 WTKA
Head coach Bev Plocki makes regular appearances every Friday morning at 8:40 a.m. on the Michigan Insider with Sam Webb and Ira Weintraub on Sports Talk 1050 WTKA. Listen on your radio live online or check out the podcast later in the day.
Maureen Moody in M Magazine: Read the touching story of Maureen Moody and her father in "One Final Season" available in the latest issue of "M" Magazine. The feature is about the relationship between a father and daughter and the special bond they shared through gymnastics. [ Read it today ]
The Michigan Women's Gymnastics Yearbook is Online
Check out the brand new Michigan women's gymnastics yearbook. The fully interactive online publication features the athletes and coaches, Crisler Arena, the Donald R. Shepherd Gymnastics Training Facility and covers the storied history of Michigan women's gymnastics. [ Check it out today! ]
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Contact: Richard Retyi (734) 763-4423